Author Topic: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.  (Read 5052 times)

dns

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Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« on: December 28, 2016, 10:04:38 AM »
I just picked up a 2015 Fanatic Falcon, it came with a 10" ABS dolphin fin and the board is WAY too tight. It's very hard to turn and has a tendency to broach on bumps. I'm new to DWing but am fairly experienced SUSing. I searched all I could but most of the DW fin recommendations I could find are for weedy conditions and swept back fins. Which, being in Hawaii, I don't need. One of the local shop guys recommended a more vertical fin, but didn't have any specifics. Maybe the FCS HI DW or Lahui Kai fin? I'm loath to drop ~$100 on a fin that I hate.  :'(

coldsup

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Re: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2016, 11:09:41 AM »
I am using a Futures California fin which I think is a pretty good allrounder. Loosened up my board and has decent stability. They do a more upright Hawaii version too. They are pricey though. There are probably faster fins but I'm just out there for fun.

Board Stiff

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Re: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2016, 11:28:39 AM »
There were one or two threads on downwind fins here that were active a few months ago and had a lot of good suggestions. Based on those, I picked up a True Ames Squirrel fin from Zone sponsor JimK for around $50. I haven't had a chance to try it in downwind conditions yet, but Area 10 spoke very highly of it as a DW fin.

If you want to try a really inexpensive one to start, the FCS dolphin is available for about $20 in the less performance oriented GF construction:
http://www.surffcs.com/shop/surf-longboard/fcs-dolphin---gf

BadgerOfNH has surfed a M-12'6 with this fin, and I don't think he found the cheaper construction to noticeably hinder performance.

Luc Benac

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Re: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2016, 11:35:18 AM »
For a Falcon, the VMG Mako are very good fins. Larry Allison might also have a new downwind fin prototype that could be good.
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dns

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Re: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2016, 04:56:01 PM »
For a Falcon, the VMG Mako are very good fins. Larry Allison might also have a new downwind fin prototype that could be good.

Holy Crap! $236 for a fin? :o That's half of what I paid for my board.

Thanks for the ideas.

@BS what size Squirrel did you get? I currently have the dolphin and that's the one that's too tight, so I won't be going down that road again.

@CS A friend uses the CDW and likes it too, but I'm wondering if the HiDW will be better for my needs.

I'm also thinking the Lahui Kai fin might be a good, inexpensive, experiment.


PonoBill

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Re: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2016, 05:29:16 PM »
SIC used to offer some spitfire-style fins, which are very loose. Not expensive, good for downwind, but I don't see them on their site anymore. the offer two weedless fins that are not excessively raked. I like the squirrel style too and Larry's version works very well. Either of them will loosen up the board but still have enough turning authority to quell broaching.

In a different category is Jeremy Rigg's Aerocore fins. they take a bit of getting used to, but they turn like a spitfire and paddle like a big low aspect fin. Most serious DW fanatics like them a lot, but they aren't cheap and they're a little hard to get hold of.
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2Rivers

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Re: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2016, 05:34:02 PM »
One of the local shop guys recommended a more vertical fin, but didn't have any specifics. Maybe the FCS HI DW or Lahui Kai fin? I'm loath to drop ~$100 on a fin that I hate.  :'(
Holy Crap! $236 for a fin? :o That's half of what I paid for my board.
Just in case... that price is in Australian dollars. US price is around $165 (still not cheap). Not sure where you're located, so I thought I'd point that out. ;)
To be honest, when I first stumbled onto the VMG fins, I thought that was the US price and was immediately shocked.

I have a few friends that are using the Black Project Maliko V2 fin for DW and are really liking it. I believe it's up there in same price range as the VMG fin, but maybe it's worth a look. I thought I'd throw it out there since I hadn't seen it mentioned yet.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2016, 05:37:06 PM by 2Rivers »

dns

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Re: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2016, 05:49:33 PM »
Oh, thanks.  :-[ Their site didn't have the normal .au at the end so I assumed USD. I looked at that one too, but thought the rake might be sacrificing something. I'm on Oahu, so I have no need for a steeply raked "weedless" fin if the rake compromises something over a more vertical fin which seems to be the case from what little info I can find. Very little though. :(

Area 10

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Re: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2016, 06:05:56 PM »
Well, everyone knows that I like a squirrel fun (or the FCS Fat Boy, which is similar) for downwinding. And I've tried more fins (by far) than anyone else I know. So I don't need to say any more about that. 10" for 14fters and/or big conditions, and 9" for 12-6 and/or milder conditions or if you have exceptional balance.

The Black Project Maliko is OK IMO, but not much more.

The SIC Weedless fins are cheaper, lighter, and better IMO.

The Futures California DW is, as coldsup says, a pretty good all-rounder.

That Lahui Kai fin will probably be quite a respectable option, if it's not too big. There was a Naish fin fairly similar to that and it was OK for DW, and I have a Coreban carbon one that shares similarities and came with the Dart DW board, and it's quite acceptable.

There tends to be two classes of people looking for DW fins: those wanting extra stability and control, and those wanting to loosen things up a bit, and give extra "surf ability". The solutions for these are quite different, so not all fins will suit all people.

I'm not particularly keen on spitfire fins, personally - they don't surf well and they pick up weed. However the C4 Waterman bunch used to sell them with the DW boards, and they give a handling feeling similar to a (fixed) rudder so if you are used to ruddered boards maybe it would feel familiar handling-wise. Surfers are likely to prefer e.g. a Squirrel though (which isn't surprising since they are a classic prone longboard fin). Very upright fins have to be pivot-turned quite flat, so if you prefer to carve and surf in your downwinding, and have a board that allows it (by eg. not having rails that are too thick) then you'll probably be better off with a bit of rake and a cutaway-type design.

I know that DJ likes dolphin fins for downwind, but I'm a bit baffled as to why. Mind you, they would be an improvement on some of the past Naish designs, so maybe that is it. Fin choices can be very personal. For maximum manoeuvrability you don't want too much length in the fin base, and a dolphin has most of its area towards the base, which is its main shortcoming. The handling of a dolphin is fairly predictable though, and can be reasonably "drivey", even if it is too stiff for my liking, and doesn't deal with very confused water particularly well.


Board Stiff

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Re: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2016, 05:47:51 AM »
@BS what size Squirrel did you get? I currently have the dolphin and that's the one that's too tight, so I won't be going down that road again.

I got the 9" Squirrel for my M-12'6. Only tried it once so far in waist high surf, and it seemed to track really well but loosen up if I got way back on the tail, which would probably translate well to downwind.

I also have an SIC weedless fin that came with my X-14 Pro. I haven't downwinded with that fin, but I like it a lot in a variety of conditions, and it's an improvement over the stock fin on the M-12'6 (less likely to roll the board when hit by waves or steep chop from an angle. I've even surfed some knee to thigh high waves on the X-14 Pro with that fin, and it turns ok with it, despite really being a flatwater board.

baddog

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Re: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2016, 01:50:54 PM »
Still have a number of the fins mentioned above for sale.  Please check the classifieds.

Eagle

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Re: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2016, 02:30:53 PM »
My choice would be the SIC 8.3 for a good DW learning fin.  Plus a SIC 7.0 once your balance is good using the 8.3.  The 8.3 will stall and broach if it is pushed to its limits and the 7.0 not so much.  The 7.0 is a really good fin for DW.  It is very hard to stall and broach.  Yet gives good direction stability at speed across waves.  The fin turns quickly and has just enough stability for me.  SIC sells predominantly DW boards and not many complain that the OEM fins do not do their job as designed.  I like both but the 7.0 definitely is better for my purposes.
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DavidJohn

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Re: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2016, 02:32:26 PM »

I know that DJ likes dolphin fins for downwind, but I'm a bit baffled as to why. Mind you, they would be an improvement on some of the past Naish designs, so maybe that is it. Fin choices can be very personal. For maximum manoeuvrability you don't want too much length in the fin base, and a dolphin has most of its area towards the base, which is its main shortcoming. The handling of a dolphin is fairly predictable though, and can be reasonably "drivey", even if it is too stiff for my liking, and doesn't deal with very confused water particularly well.


Yes I like dolphin fins.. and yes in the past Naish fins have been a bit average..

But there are dolphins and there are dolphins.. not all are good and the correct  size is very important..

Area 10

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Re: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2016, 06:36:29 AM »

I know that DJ likes dolphin fins for downwind, but I'm a bit baffled as to why. Mind you, they would be an improvement on some of the past Naish designs, so maybe that is it. Fin choices can be very personal. For maximum manoeuvrability you don't want too much length in the fin base, and a dolphin has most of its area towards the base, which is its main shortcoming. The handling of a dolphin is fairly predictable though, and can be reasonably "drivey", even if it is too stiff for my liking, and doesn't deal with very confused water particularly well.


Yes I like dolphin fins.. and yes in the past Naish fins have been a bit average..

But there are dolphins and there are dolphins.. not all are good and the correct  size is very important..
Stick a nice new Blue/Yellow click-in FCSII Fat Boy 10" fin in that lovely Maliko of yours and never look back mate 😀 I see there's even a shop in Melbourne that is selling them. Or supuk is in Melbourne right now and maybe he could lend you his to try... and you could try at the same time the excellent 14ft DW board he shaped, and has shipped over with him.

coldsup

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Re: Help Selecting DW Fin For Falcon.
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2016, 07:07:04 AM »
I wish I could find the stability of the JL Tracker with the manoeuvrability of a smaller fin....probably why I am ending up with the Futures Californian.....bit of a half way house.

It would just be bang on for me if it was a bit more stable.....but good enough.

 


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